Mariano Barbacid was born in Madrid in 1949. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the Universidad Complutense in 1974. From 1974 to 1978 he trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Maryland, USA. In 1978 he started his own group to work on the molecular biology of human tumors. His work led to the isolation of the first human cancer gene, H-RAS, in the spring of 1982 and to the identification of the first mutation associated with the development of human cancer.
In 1984, he moved to the NCI-Frederick, Maryland as Head of the Developmental Oncology Section and in 1988, he joined the Bristol Myers-Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey where he became Vice President, Oncology Drug Discovery. In 1998, he returned to his native Madrid to create and direct the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). He stepped down as Director in June 2011 to concentrate on his own research that currently focuses on the design of new animal models of cancer and on the identification and validation of molecular targets with potential therapeutic value.
The relevance of his work has been recognized by many domestic and international awards, including the Young Investigator Award of the American Association of Cancer Research (USA, 1986), the Steiner Prize (Switzerland, 1988), the Ipsen Prize (France, 1994), the Brupbaher Cancer Research Prize (Switzerland, 2005) and the Medal of Honor of the International Agency for Cancer Research (WHO) (Lyon 2007).
He holds Honorary Degrees (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the Universidad Internacional Menendez y Pelayo (1995) and the University of Cantabria (2011). He is a Member of EMBO (1996) and the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (2009). In 2012, he was elected a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.
To date, Dr. Barbacid has authored 267 publications and has Hirsch "h" factor of 96.